Monday, 8 August 2016

Another good day

Seven valiant members turned up today, which isn't bad given that several are on holiday. We had another merry day laying concrete blocks, after a delayed start due to a last minute announcement of a photographic charter passing through.

It duly trundled by, headed by P&O, so large that it put our little halt platform in the shade. After its passage we were able to get to work, as it would not be back until 15.30.

Then, good news, Jim read out his nominations for the honours list. You too could be on it - just make sure he owes you for something. Tim has clearly already scored.

Tim then hopped into the catch pit, and together with Dave, completed the square of concrete blocks around it at the bottom. When this has gone off, they will be raised to just below platform level, and the opening finished off on top with a final standard concrete ring.

Due to the overlapping nature of the block spacing, they ended up with a half block wanted. Dave D here does the honours. It's a skilled job, those blocks crack if you are not very delicate with that lump hammer.

A second and third team set to work on extending the current length of platform. One team led by Dave worked along the front, while the second led by Lyndon, worked on the second row behind.

A problem which soon became apparent was that sooner or later we are going to have to build across the bottom of our footpath, and today was that day.

It meant having to stop with the wheelbarrow at a dodgy angle and with no brakes to secure it. Julian takes a v e r y careful shovel full out of it, while Dave, looking on and astonished, can't believe that he can do this without overturning the barrow.

Due to the warmth and the wind today, the mortar was going off in double time, and a call went out for a bucket of water. No problem, and no need to walk all the way topside, just ask Tim down the catchpit to give you one from between his feet. 
Tim duly produced the bucket of water from down the hole, but with an added extra:

We let this one go again! We're not open for passengers yet.

In this picture you can see the area of activity today. We are lengthening the platform by building across the bottom of the footpath. New blocks laid first thing have darker mortar, as on the left. We laid 86 blocks today, so felt very happy, esp. with the early stop due to the return of the charter.

The middle team, with Lyndon and Julian, were laying the back row of blocks.

Here you can see them laying a block that has been cut to allow for the pipe for a weep hole.

Of course the dang thing doesn't fit, so it has got to go back to Jim with his hammer for some last minute fine adjustment.

Dave P then shows them how to do it - make sure there are no other blocks nearby. Always get a fit like that.

A final view at the end of the day shows that the platform has grown by several feet in length, and that the bottom of the path now looks blocked off. It's OK, next week we will be laying a wheelbarrow path across it again, when the mortar has properly gone off.
The stock of blocks ready for laying has shrunk alarmingly, and we are also short of sand again, as we got through most of a dumpy bag of it today. We mixed around 8 barrows of mortar today, weighing something over half a ton. It's a breeze though, the barrow run is downhill all the way!

Lastly, at the Bloxham auction on Saturday, next to a GENTLEMEN and a WAY OUT sign which are a perfect fit for Broadway, we acquired some 12 ins running in board letters for Broadway and Hayles Abbey:
A cast iron A, B and Y.

We still need to have or borrow a D and a W for Broadway. Can anyone help us with a gift or a loan of these two? We would like to take them to a friendly foundry to have copies made for these two projects. The Cheltenham Area Group has lent us C, H, E and L, but we are still two short. Help !

With these last two letters, and O, A & R borrowed from a  friendly railway nearby, we will have all the letters we need to make a complete replica set for our two projects. The letters for HALT were donated earlier by a kind benefactor.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful progress. Certainly making the most of this good Summer weather! Which can be very fickle in this country. Well done to all of you. Regards, Paul.